Restaurateur Adam Volk has closed Redcrest Fried Chicken, which he opened four years ago at 11th Street and Passyunk Avenue in East Passyunk Crossing.
Volk said he needs to conserve resources for his next project, Redcrest Kitchen, in Queen Village. That space, at Sixth and Bainbridge Streets, was flooded in a water-main break last July, just three weeks after Volk and partners had signed the lease on the former Bainbridge Street Barrel House.
Drywall, the refrigeration, tap system, electrical system, and equipment in the basement, as well as the dining-room floors, were damaged as water rose to the first floor. The flood set back the restaurant’s opening for about a year. Volk and his landlord spent months arguing with their insurance companies over their damage claims, and Volk said money is gradually shaking loose. The City of Philadelphia’s Office of Risk Management, which administers claims against the city, has been nonresponsive, Volk said.
A city spokesperson said more than 100 claims have been received from businesses and residential property owners. Because damages are expected to exceed Pennsylvania’s $500,000 liability cap for state and local government entities, the city Water Department has been working with the city Law Department to process these claims. The spokesperson said the complexity and scale of this incident would require settlement through Common Pleas Court, a lengthy process.
Meanwhile, the partners have started a Honeycomb Credit campaign, through which individuals can lend money to the effort to raise funds for equipment.
Volk said he wants to resurface the chicken brand in East Passyunk someday and expand it throughout Philly. The sandwich has been rated among the tastier creations in the city.
The flood has forced the tweaking of the concept for Redcrest Kitchen, which is now about three months from opening.
In addition to the full-service bar and restaurant, Volk and partners Chivonn Anderson and Brandon Chamberlain will offer Redcrest Fried Chicken to go from a kiosk next to the bar and put in refrigerators selling beer and wine to-go as well as a freezer for frozen biscuits.
“We’re going to scale back [the dining room] a little bit,” Volk said. “It’s still going to be proper, good service, but we’re just going to take a little bit of the ceremony out of it, make it a little bit more casual. We’re going to pull back the wine list a little and make it more of a neighborhood eatery. We’ll focus a little bit more on the cocktails and bar snacks and shareable items.”
Volk also said Redcrest Kitchen would not use third-party delivery services. Customers can order directly through the web or Redcrest’s app. “We’re hoping our customers will understand that and they’ll do it that way,” he said. “That’s our goal. But you never know. I did not plan to have a flood at Bainbridge. So you can plan all you like and then other things happen.”